intro: "man cave, n. A dedicated area of a house, such as a basement, workshop, or garage, where a man can be alone or socialize with his friends."
Mike Yost, creator of the site "The Official Man Cave," which has hundreds of visitors daily and which has spawned a book by the same name, describes the phenomena of the "man cave" as a trend that allows a man a space – whether it be the attic, garage, or a shack out back – to decorate and enjoy as he pleases.
"It's a place where he can hang out with his friends, his own space in the house where the primary focus is just gathering together. Whether it's standing around the bar, BS'ing, talking about the week's events, it's a place where friends from work or the neighborhood can watch the game or have a poker night and have a great time – wives and girlfriends included," Yost told ABCNews.com
So just in time for football season, we're rounding up a look at some of the most spectacular spaces from Wisconsin to New York in a phenomenon that's sweeping across the country: the man cave.
quicklist: 1 media: 14493456 title: This spectacular man cave is actually just half of a converted garage. text: So what makes the perfect man cave space? Yost says that when it comes to creating a man cave, anything goes.
"I've seen people that have constructed a half irrigation pipe and built that as a man cave. I've seen the whole gamut - it's all about the space. Guys are pretty simple creatures."
And what if a guy only has a garage to work with? Yost says that's not a problem. "A lot of men will convert a garage to half man cave and the other half will still be functional to park cars – guys will do whatever they need to do."
quicklist: 2 media:14493468 title: One NASCAR-themed space features a race track that is built to scale for the 1.24 scale cars of an actual NASCAR track. text: Perhaps surprisingly, man caves aren't just for college kids or those who are experiencing empty nest syndrome.
"The majority of men who have man caves are married, in age groups ranges from 35 to about 60," says Yost. "Some guys still have young kids at home and it's a way for them to relax. "
And it's all with approval from Mom.
"A lot of wives love the idea - I've never seen negative feedback from wives I've spoken to," Yost claims. "Wives support this, you know, because if you're going to do it, you're going to do it right and because friends and families will see the space as well."
quicklist: 3 media:14493436 title: One lucky man has a cave which features an elaborate with a stripper pole – courtesy of his wife. text: Yost has seen a fair number of outrageous man caves with decorations and themes of every stripe. One particularly memorable man cave embellishment was decidedly more racy than most. "Our first man cave of the year in 2009 had a stripper pole installed in his man cave, which was his wife's idea," Yost said.
quicklist: 4 media: 14493593 title: A fully-tricked out "Plasma Cave" was furnished by earnings from selling blood. text: Another remarkable man cave featured on "TheOfficialManCave" features a "plasma room" belonging to one guy who "has about 8 or 9 large big screens tv's on one wall" – all purchased with the money he made selling plasma, said Yost of the fully wired man cave. "He watches a variety of sports on each of the screens and has huge theatre seats that all the guys can be comfortable on, a really sweet deal."
quicklist: 5 media: 14493392 title: This man cave has so much framed memorabilia that its owner ran out of wall space. text: A man cave can be as elaborate as its owner wants, and the investment can be truly worthwhile. While some men have spent as much as $20,000 on the space they call their own, Yost says that it's money well spent in a competitive housing market.
"I've talked to a lot of real estate agents who are finding homes with extra rooms and telling prospective buyers 'this would make a great man cave."It's affecting the housing market and definitely increases the value of the home."
quicklist: 6 media: 14493403 title: A New York Giants fan expresses his devotion in an incredible themed man cave. text: The man cave expert says that teams of every stripe are immortalized in spectacular spaces across the country. "We have a lot of Packers, Giants, and Yankees fans, I've seen it all," Yost said.
"Sometimes people do it all, football and baseball. Some guys paint one wall of the baseball team on one side, and the paint it the side of their favorite football team and then they decorate each wall with team memorabilia so that way they have it covered."
quicklist: 7 media: 14493446 title: This man cave features a pinball machine, an arcade machine, pool table and iconic images of James Bond and bombshell Marilyn Monroe. text: In the end, the man cave is all about a space for a man to call his own. "A lot of men find that it's a great way to have fun with the bonus that the wife knows where he's hanging out," said Yost.
"Us guys don't need a lot of things to keep us happy – but it's a great start."